Friday, 29 June 2012

your favourite film

Once upon a time, there was a quiet little village in the French countryside, whose people believed in Tranquilité - Tranquility. If you lived in this village, you understood what was expected of you. You knew your place in the scheme of things. And if you happened to forget, someone would help remind you. In this village, if you saw something you weren't supposed to see, you learned to look the other way. If perchance your hopes had been disappointed, you learned never to ask for more. So through good times and bad, famine and feast, the villagers held fast to their traditions. Until, one winter day, a sly wind blew in from the North ...
from Chocolat 

It is Friday and my weekend advice is simple: Watch your favourite film. I bet you have many so it's not always easy to choose. I plan to find and buy Chocolat (2000) by Lasse Hallström, which was based on the book with the same title by Joanne Harris. It's been a long time since I watched it and it always leaves me inspired. This film touches on so many themes but what I've always loved about it, apart from all the delicious chocolate and food scenes, is the use of colours.

When Vianne [Juliette Binoche] and her daughter arrive in town, a small village in France in 1959, they are wearing red capes and Vianne always wears red shoes when the other women in town wear black ones. Another example is the transformation of Josephine's character [Lena Olin] that is seen through her wardrobe change. By the way, Lasse Hallström who directed the film is the husband of Lena Olin. The cast is amazing: Judi Dench, Alfred Molina and Johnny Depp, just to name a few. I found one of my favourite scenes on YouTube and here is the trailer for those who haven't seen the film.


photo credit:
top & bottom left: via IMDb
rest: unknown source via Tumblr

YouTube: a scene from Chocolat

Thursday, 28 June 2012

my corners II

I was going to give you a sneak peek into my 'French antique shop' last week but A needed more time to assemble one of the pieces we got, a cabinet that has doors, drawers and open shelves (bottom-left photo). He is almost finished and the wood also needs to be handled. To the right you see a close-up of the dining table and now we just need chairs. I would like the chairs to have a modern touch because as much as I love antiques and dark furniture I need a balance. Heavy spaces are not for me.

Shortly after we moved I gave you a sneak peek into the sitting area in the living room. In the top photo you see it with the rug we got. I was hoping it would be bigger, that is wider, so the front legs of the furniture pieces could be on it, but it turned out to be too small so we had to rotate it and keep the legs off. The old rug was too big for the room so this one will be better to use temporarily. I love the pattern and the light blue colour has brightened up the space. I'll take photos of the chandeliers once they are up and of the settee when we have found the right place for it. We still haven't decided what to hang on the wall but I'm pretty sure we'll think of something when we get a better feel for the room. By the way, the yellow rose on the table is from our garden. It's wonderful to be able to walk out with scissors and bring in fresh flowers.

photo credit:

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

notes à la mode 04

This week's NOTES À LA MODE is about fashion illustrations, plus a painting, and a little bit of Dior and men's fashion in the links, as today is the start of Men's Fashion Week in Paris. I have to add that I cannot wait for the Haute Couture shows that start in Paris on Sunday. I'm particularly excited about the Christian Dior show on Monday as Raf Simons will reveal his first collection for the fashion house.

On the blog in May there was an ELLA fragrance giveaway and one of the lucky winners was Helen of The Style Schedule blog. She won a bottle of the ELLA Day scent and she created the illustration above that really struck a chord with me. It was such a wonderful token of appreciation and I love the fact that she used that yellow colour in her illustration, it's so beautiful. I had already pinned Helen's illustration and shared it on the LatteLisa Facebook page but I simply had to get her permission to post it on the blog as well and of course she allowed me to.

The yellow in Helen's piece reminded me of the beautiful painting below, Dancing in the Rain 1, by artist Kathryn Trotter that I had seen online. Her portfolio has a section called Fashion Inspired and I find the paintings incredibly beautiful.

The illustration above is one of my favourites by Karl Lagerfeld and it appears in Coco Chanel: The Legend and the Life by Justine Picardie (page 193). That book contains many of Lagerfeld's sketches for Chanel.


  Yesterday I repinned this delightful fashion illustration to the right by Japanese illustrator Yoco Nagamiya. There was no information about the artist or the source but I traced it and updated the Pinterest link so you can view more illustrations and read her profile
  Garance Doré shared a beautiful illustration on her blog that she did for WWD Japan. She was inspired by the winter coats by Céline
  Today is the start of Men's Fashion Week in Paris. If you're interested in the spring/summer 2013 collections then check the schedule to find your favourite designer. The most passionate ones can also watch live streaming from the runway
  Speaking of men's fashion, I recently discovered Men In This Town, a street style blog by Giuseppe Santamaria
  Vogue US gives us a sneak peek into designer Jason Wu's studio
  This post started with a scent and it ends with a scent. The Dior Mag now contains an interview with master perfumer François Demachy, the creator of Dior Addict

photo credit:
1: Helen of The Style Schedule
2: Kathryn Trotter via GoRadio
3: Karl Lagerfeld via La Chanelphile

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

interior design: thomas o'brien & natural light

This space may look familiar to some of you. It's the 57th Street apartment of interior and home furnishings designer Thomas O'Brien in New York City. There are many photos roaming around the internet of the same room decorated and styled in various ways. The above photo is part of a photo shoot for O'Brien's book, American Modern, that was published by Abrams in 2010. I'm in awe of the high ceiling and those windows that let in all that natural light. I'm an avid fan of not covering windows; only using curtains where it's absolutely necessary.
The photo above is on the cover of American Modern and shows the room in a different light. I think the only similarity to the top photo is the upper artwork to the right. About his book O'Brien said:
I wanted it to be about something more than just a compilation of interiors. So, this book ... was born out of the idea of sharing what I do, in a more topical way. I wanted to illustrate the traditional-to-modern spectrum that I work in, in a related series of homes. And I wanted to focus on the American nature of my thinking as a designer. (September, 2010)
The Thomas O'Brien/Aero Studios website is a great inspiration for everyone interested in interior design and art. O'Brien has a wonderful art collection and you can view some of it by clicking on the last link under photo credit. If you like to see more of his space then check out this link on the website.

photo credit:
1: Laura Resen for Thomas O'Brien via houzz
2: Laura Resen, cover photo of American Modern via Ill Seen, Ill Said

Monday, 25 June 2012

inspiration & music

"When your heart speaks, take good notes."
   Judith Campbell, author

My heart spoke non-stop this weekend and I certainly took notes. I don't know what was in the air but I especially felt inspired in the rainy and windy weather we had yesterday. Do you have days like that when there seems to be a constant flow of ideas, you have your notebook and all the important stuff around you and maybe keep one song on repeat? I'm talking about one song on repeat for hours! Yesterday it was Gotye's song, I just couldn't get enough. The photos above speak my yesterday's mood.

Maybe there was something in the rice and almond pudding I made yesterday, a Danish dessert I always serve at Christmas. With the cherries in season I had started craving the pudding with home-made cherry sauce, and since it was the National Day of Luxembourg (our first) on Saturday we had a reason to be a little festive.

In a recent post I mentioned "how things that are currently on one's mind tend to pop up everywhere; it is as if these things start seeking you instead of you seeking them." On Monday I asked you a flower question and Natalia of Fashioned by Love told me that I had English roses in my garden called Gertrude Jekyll. On Saturday, A (I'm always using the word hubby so I'm switching to his initial) brought home two living & garden magazines in German and guess what I found in one of them? An article on English roses with gorgeous photos and of course it included the story of the Gertrude Jekyll rose. Now I know a lot more about my garden beauties.

I hope you had a wonderful weekend and that the new week is starting well for you!

photo credit:
1: from Laurence Amélie's studio via Sarah Klassen/Pinterest
2: Belle de Jour cover art via Francophilia Gazette
3: unknown source
4: Annette Mangseth via The Gifts of Life/Tumblr
5: from Life and Work by Malene Birger via Amazon UK

YouTube: Gotye feat. Kimbra / Somebody That I Used To Know

Friday, 22 June 2012

see the beauty in your garden

Yesterday my son and I were walking home from school. I had my camera with me and asked him if we should photograph a pretty flower we saw and a bee that was feeding on it. Then he asked me: "Mum, do you always have to photograph something beautiful?" He is six, almost seven, so I didn't get philosophic but my answer was yes, I want to photograph the beautiful things I see all around me.

That question of his stuck with me and it made me remember something I read in an interview with an Icelandic guy many years ago. He was talking about how we are constantly being fed with negativity. On the news we see the bad things happening in the world, all the ugliness. He said that he realised how deeply this was beginning to affect his life, that he was almost feeling depressed. Then one day he turned off the TV and put the newspapers away, walked into his own garden, took a good look around him and realised that his garden was okay and beautiful. The garden was just a metaphor for his surroundings.

You probably know where I'm going with this. My weekend advice is this: See the beauty in your garden. Don't watch or read anything negative this weekend. Go for a walk in your neighbourhood and focus on the beautiful and positive things you see. You can photograph them, draw them, write a poem or your thoughts about them in your notebook. If you have a friend that is always sharing with you the horrors of this world then don't call him/her this weekend, and definitely stay away from his/her Facebook page because people like that seem to feel the constant need to share the ugliness of the world with the rest of us. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that we should be in denial of the things going on in the world. Be aware of them but don't let them spoil the beauty in your garden.


photo credit:
Marianne Taylor via Love My Dress

Thursday, 21 June 2012

interior design: marrakesh home

If you lived in a warm climate like Marrakesh, Morocco, how would you design your home? What kind of furniture would you choose? This home was designed by Moroccan architect Imaad Rahmouni for a French family. Compared to my home this feels like another planet but I am drawn to the straight lines and that minimalist approach. The owners wanted to have the house white but there seems to be a colour code in Morocco.

There is something about the space above that intrigues me - probably the glass walls. It connects the kitchen and dining room. The tables were designed by Rahmouni. That art piece on the wall is a gouache by Alexander Calder (1898-1976) and the sofa, also a sculpture, is by Warren Platner. You see the room from the outside in the photo below.

Part of the living room area is shown above and it has that same beautifully framed glass wall. The painting is by French artist Nathalie Bourdreux and the sculpture on the floor is by André Cazenave, also French.

photo credit:
Eric Flogny for Marie Claire Maison

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

notes à la mode 03

Yesterday I bought the July issue of German Vogue. It wasn't the cover that appealed to me, it was more about polishing my German, which seems to be resurfacing after the move to Luxembourg. When everyone had gone to bed I got comfortable with cherries in a bowl and browsed through my magazine, finding myself very inspired by the cultural section, photography and interviews, and an extra magazine about the AW12-13 collections that was included. There is an interview with fashion designer Tom Ford but I haven't started reading that one yet. On the whole I found myself uninspired by the editorials, the styling did nothing for me, even though I liked some of the photos.

Not for the first time I began thinking about all these fashion magazines published monthly and the waste. I don't want to judge too harshly as I don't read all these magazines; obviously there are people out there who are inspired and willing to subscribe to them, otherwise they wouldn't be published. When viewing websites that share some of these editorials it happens more and more that I don't find anything that interests me. Maybe there is one or two photos that look nice but, honestly, most of the time I find myself rolling my eyes and moving on. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who feels this way.

That said, I'm keeping it simple in my third NOTES À LA MODE. I love this black & white and cheerful photo of Karlie Kloss, taken by Steven Meisel for the July issue of W Magazine, styled by Edward Enninful. This is enough to inspire me. I don't need to see models posing in a ridiculous way and I don't need crazy hair and make-up. I just like to view beautiful clothes. That's all.

I am inspired by Bruno Staub's photography for Numéro Homme China that I found through The Fashionisto (page 1, page 2). Kris Van Assche, the creative director of Dior Homme, Staub and stylist Mauricio Nardi created a military mood to present the AW12-13 collection.

I cannot say that I'm occupied with viewing all the Resort 2013 collections but the Nina Ricci fashion house has a special place in my heart and I was waiting to see what Peter Copping would present this year. I have no idea why but it seems like I have been aware of the Nina Ricci label since I was a little girl. I'm pretty sure no one in my family ever wore Nina Ricci so this must be because of something I saw in magazines when I was little and made an impression on me.


  Reading Vogue Germany led me to the wonderful spring/summer 2012 collection of Rena Lange, designed by Karsten Fielitz. This is a fashion house I'll be paying more attention to in the future 
  Speaking of spring/summer 2012 collections. I have kept a link to a video with Chado Ralph Rucci's collection for far too long in my files. I loved this collection, I loved the music, and the reaction of the audience to certain pieces as they appeared on the runway and at the end of the show
  Rachel of Little Bits of Lovely shared this wonderful link to Miss Moss's post called Matisse & Me
  I like what Miranda Kerr is wearing in this photo

photo credit:
1: Steven Meisel for W Magazine, July 2012 via Fashion Gone Rogue
2: Bruno Staub for Numéro Homme China via The Fashionisto
3-6: Courtesy of Nina Ricci via Vogue US

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

london days

Starting the post with a red double-decker - it doesn't get more London-ish, does it? As promised, here are some photos I managed to snap in London last week. There wasn't time for serious photography, it was mainly walking, pausing and clicking (when I got back home I was actually surprised to see how many photos I managed to take). As I said before the trip wasn't planned and this wasn't a going-to-the-theater & shopping trip. We had to visit the Icelandic Embassy in London and turned it into a fun road trip for the entire family.

We arrived in England by the Dunkirk-Dover ferry and as soon as we drove into London we felt that it was on high alert. The city is preparing for the Olympics and the security is already tight. This was the first time we drive in London - yes, on the left side - and we were amazed by the politeness. Not once did anyone honk the horn when we needed a moment to think. One friend said it was pure luck, another said it was always like that.

I divided the photos into a few sections and wrote short descriptions. Enjoy!

Many people use the name Hyde Park for both Hyde Park and the Kensington Gardens, but technically those two are divided by the Serpentine River/The Long Water. Walking in these royal parks is simply wonderful.

In the Kensington Gardens you will find Albert's Memorial and across the street, Kensington Gore, is the Royal Albert Hall. For those who don't know, Prince Albert was the beloved husband of Queen Victoria (r. 1837-1901). He died in 1861 when he was only 42 years old. The queen suffered from depression after his death and wore black for the rest of her reign.

There is really no need to say much about these photos. The beautiful houses and buildings in this area of London are a treat for the eyes. You will find all the labels on Sloane Street and you won't miss the Harrods building on Brompton Road with all the British flags. 

Our hotel, a small and cosy one, was situated on the west side of the Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. We have been there before and love the location. It's a quiet area and it takes about five minutes to walk down the Kensington Church Street into the lively Kensington High Street. There I find my house of worship, the Whole Foods Market. I could live in there, seriously. (From the hotel it takes about five minutes to walk in the other direction, to the Notting Hill Gate station.) As we sat enjoying our last latte before going back home we talked about this area being our London comfort zone.

After filling the trunk of our car with goodies from Whole Foods we headed back home. We drove to the east, passing the Wellington Arch at Hyde Park Corner and found our way through and out of the city. Then we headed south and took the Euro Tunnel over to Calais in France and continued our journey home.

London was lovely and I plan to return later this year.

photo credit:
Lisa Hjalt